(Last Updated on : 14/06/2011)
Ponda is a city as well as a municipal council in the North Goa
district. The city of Ponda lies in the central part of Goa and is located 29 km south-east of Panaji and 18 km north-east of Margao. It is also the capital of Ponda Taluka. The city is stretched along the main Panaji-Margao highway and is also linked to the neighbouring state of Karnataka
through the Ponda-Belgaum highway or the NH-4. It is the industrial centre of Goa where many large factories have been setup. The Goa Engineering College is Goa's only engineering college located near Farmagudi. Ponda is also referred to as the Cultural Capital of Goa.
History of Ponda
The city of Ponda came into existence under the Portuguese rule. It was earlier ruled by the Sonde Rajas of the Vijaynagar Kingdom or the Bijapur
Sultanate. Under their rule the city was much secured. Later in 1675 Chatrapati Shivaji
, the Maratha ruler conquered the city from the Bijapur Sultanate. The city was ruled by the Marathas till 1764 and was developed considerably. Its forests served as the most suitable place for erecting make shift temples by the Hindus as well as reallocating idols that they has retrieved from the demolished temples of Sashti (Salcette). Most of the temples found in Goa have been erected by the Marathas. In 1791 the Portuguese invaded the city of Ponda again and seized it from the Raja of Sonda along with Quepem, Canacona and Sanguem. With the establishment of many administrative offices the city was used as an administrative hub by the Portuguese. Majority of the locales under Ponda were under earlier a part of the 'Quela' (Kavalem) village.
Tourist Spots in Ponda
Ponda is a beautiful city with many places to visit. The city is thronged by many tourists throughout the year. Few of the beautiful spots to visit are the Goa's wildlife sanctuaries, both the Bondla and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and also the Dudhsagar Waterfalls. The Butterfly conservatory run by the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa (NGO) is an interesting place for tourists. There are nearby cities to visit like Margao, Vasco da Gama, Panaji
there are also beaches located in the vicinity like Colva Beach
, Benaulim Beach
, Majorda Beach
, Betalbatim Beach, Betul Beach, Canaguinim Beach, Agonda Beach, Palolem Beach
, Rajbhag Beach and Polem Beach. Being the industrial centre of Goa, Ponda has few industrial estates like the Kundaim, Bethorda and Tisk. There are also many religious places for pilgrims such as the Shanta Durga Temple, Mangueshi Temple, Ramnathi Temple, Mahalaxmi Temple, Nageshi Temple and Navadurga Temple. It is for this reason that Ponda is sometimes referred to as the 'Temple Town of Goa.' The mosque known as the Safa Masjid is also located here. It was built in 1560 by the Bijapuri ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah.